Joker giving DOC a headache

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 15:07 10/01/2013
Doc sign
ANTONY HAMEL

A BIT BIBLICAL: Hut users don't have to hand over their kids.

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The sign in a Department of Conservation hut says: "Warning! Children conceived in this hut are the property of the Minister of Conservation."

But the department says it really doesn't want your babies and will not try to claim ownership of the child.

The assurance comes after a number of joke signs have appeared at department huts in national parks this summer.

Another, that could cause consternation to those taking more than a short walk in the bush says: "Please do not defecate in our National Parks".

Department spokesman Herb Christophers said the signs, which have been made to look like official notices, were obviously a "light-hearted joke" but were also "a slight annoyance".

"We obviously have a number of things we have to deal with, but really, they are silly and we do have to take the signs down because they aren't official," he said.

"We take them down as we come across them, but we do have more important things to be doing."

The conception sign was spotted by Dunedin lawyer Antony Hamel who was tramping near the Bullendale Hut in Mount Aurum Recreation Reserve in Queenstown.

"As a lawyer I'm really interested in the ownership of humans and of course the obvious use of the logo, but mostly the sign was pretty hilarious," Hamel said.

Other signs found at various huts include one that read: "Warning! We would have the money to restore this hut if you all stopped voting for that dork John Key".

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